CNN host Ashleigh Banfield dedicated more than half of her show to read the entire statement from the sexual assault victim at Stanford University.
On Monday’s episode of Legal View, Banfield read the 13-page statement written by the 23-year-old woman sexually assaulted by former Stanford swimmer Brock Allen Turner.
“See one thing we have in common is that we were both unable to get up in the morning. I am no stranger to suffering. You made me a victim. In newspapers my name was “unconscious intoxicated woman”, ten syllables, and nothing more than that. For a while, I believed that that was all I was,” the victim wrote.
“I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am. That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty, with so much at stake. I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, my life was put on hold for over a year, waiting to figure out if I was worth something.”
Turner, 20, was recently sentenced to six-months in prison, sparking national criticism that the sentence was far too light given the nature of the crime. The national average of convicted rapists spend at least 11 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.
“This woman has perhaps superseded the work of every documentarian, the work of every politician, the work of every journalist, the work of any advocate who has tried to help people understand what is and what isn't consent,” Banfield told CNNMoney. “It was her. It was her words that drove me to realize that this needs to be published on a broader scale.”
Watch Banfield read the victim's impact letter in full above.